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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Club DI Playoff Preview


The two finalists for this year's DI men's club championship will be decided this weekend at regionals in Fort Worth, Texas and Obetz, Ohio. Here is a look at both brackets.

West

The men have opted to do something a little different this year. Instead of playing two matches over the weekend the teams in the west decided their finalists ahead of time in order to protect player welfare. The winner of the Pacific North and the Pacific South was determined via the Pacific Rugby Premiership while the Red River decided their winner. Belmont Shore emerged from the PRP while the Austin Blacks did the same from the Red River.

Belmont Shore has had quite the season. The club has undergone a rebuild over the last few years as they have shifted to youth. It has come with some growing pains but it also has paid off with a very successful PRP season. The team and club has a lot of momentum behind it right now and with plenty of time to prepare for this weekend they should be strong. However, so should the Austin Blacks. They may have lost some players to Major League Rugby but they are still strong and experienced. They have been in this position before and playing close to home in Texas is going to be an advantage.

Take the jump to read more.
If we had to pick a winner we'd go with Belmont Shore.

East

The east side of the bracket is following the tradition format with two matches in one weekend. ONe of the most notable things from the east is that Rocky Gorge will not be in the quarterfinals after they were bounced in the Mid-Atlantic final by Norfolk 29-21. The results shouldn't be too surprising. Norfolk have been an excellent side the last few years only to be in the shadow of a Rocky Gorge team with the likes of Ben Cima. Norfolk will play Mystic River in the quarterfinals. Mystic River have geared up for this tournament with matches against MLR sides. They scores haven't always been even but at least they will be accustomed to a high level of play. We're going with Mystic River in this one.

The other match in the round is NYAC against the Chicago Lions. Metropolis had actually emerged from the Midwest last fall but due to a number of players making the move to MLR they gave up their place in favor of the Lions. The Lions have also lost some players to MLR as have NYAC. However, NYAC is a very strong team and have consistently shown that. Rugby United New York, which has a lot of NYAC players on it, was very good this spring. We think NYAC not only wins against the Lions but also claims the east title.


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